This post was written by DTI co-founder and doula Tara Brooke.
As a full spectrum doula supporting folx through abortion, cycle awareness, miscarriage, infertility, birth, or postpartum, it’s easy to have some anxiety stepping into these spaces even after a training. Those first few times on your own—we’ve all been there—can be nerve-wracking. DTI has some key things to keep top of mind to help ease your fear and bring back—or keep up—your confidence as you begin your doula practice, take on new clients and expand upon your skill set as a birth worker.
Here are the five strategies for newer doulas to keep in mind during doula support:
- Being present and holding space is enough! We often second-guess ourselves—that we didn’t do or say enough. Sometimes,we can learn from those feelings. But most of the time, the simple gift of showing up, without distractions, is what our clients need, whether it’s before, during or after their experiences.
- The person requested and chose YOU as their doula. You were invited into this space, and your client has chosen you because they need your support.
- A question to keep top of mind, always, when offering doula support is: Is informed consent happening? Think about this piece EACH. STEP. OF THE WAY. You will provide your client better care if you can ensure they always have the opportunity to make an informed decision about their birth experience.
- Stay curious. This will lead to transparency around feelings/emotions, informed consent and an understanding of your client’s choices. There is something to be learned with each person you work with. (If you start to feel your confidence shift and you’ve trained with us, remember to tap into our Slow Doula Method® to get back on track.)
- This is not about you. Remember that if your clients are making choices, you have done your job, even if those choices are different than what you expected or different from what you would have chosen for yourself. Validate their choices.
Want to train with us?
We have full-spectrum birth and post-partum doula trainings coming up both online and offline throughout the rest of the year and in 2020! Beyond these trainings, you can also pursue our Childbirth Educator course or single trainings as a birth or post-partum doula. Head to our training schedule to learn more about our calendar and how to register.
About the author:
Tara Brooke thrives in intimate spaces. She is drawn to the energy manifested during major life transitions, a fascination that grew to define her career and led her to co-founding Doula Trainings International (DTI). It wasn’t until her postgrad years, working with HIV+ positive women at a clinic in Philadelphia, that Tara was introduced to the word that represented her natural inclination towards providing emotional support surrounding all things reproduction: Doula. Once she had a word for her purpose, the question became: “How do I get to be around birth more?” The path was driven by idealistic motivation, like moving to NYC without a job at 23 years old to find herself approaching pregnant women on the street and talking to them about doula work and her growing practice. She soon had enough clients to open up a small, thriving space in SOHO called Power of Birth that focused on childbirth education, as well as birth and postpartum doula work. After attending to hundreds of clients as a birth and postpartum doula Tara became pregnant herself. It was 2009, and after the birth of her first daughter, the idea behind DTI came to her. A certification her own way: A more comprehensive curriculum that linked birth and postpartum doula training that certified doulas for life. She closed her space in NYC, moved coasts to California, and held the first DTI training with Co-founder Gina Giordano in 2011. Today, Tara can be found working as the Executive Director of DTI. She is the mother of three children, the wife of a corporate anthropologist and a world traveler. They currently live in Austin, Texas, but Tara also calls New York City and San Francisco home.